Animal life in the Antarcic

The tour guides on board consisted of biologists, geologists and other scientific staff who held lectures between the trips. Despite my low expectations, we encountered a surprisingly big variety of wildlife during this journey, of which the biologist kept a public record on the ships whiteboard.

Humpback whale
Humpback whale
Humpback whale
Humpback whale

Other than birds, we most notably saw whales, such as humpback, antarctic minke and fin whales. A definite, yet unplanned, highlight was a group of whales who decided to swim around our anchored ship for more than an hour. They came as close as possible which was an impressive (and very photogenic) moment. And we obviously penguins. Lot’s of penguins…

Gentoo penguin
Gentoo penguin
Penguin in the snow
Penguin in the snow

At Palmer Station, one of the American scientists proudly presented the largest land animal of Antarctica – in a small glass tube. About 10 mm in length, the belgica antarctica, is an insect – a wingless midge. Somehow, this sighting didn’t end up on our ship biologists’ wildlife checklist.

Wedell seal
Wedell seal
Antarctic fur seal
Antarctic fur seal
Wildlife checklist
Wildlife checklist
Top left and right - chinstrap penguin
Top left and right – chinstrap penguin